Local Health campaigners reacted with “shock and dismay” to reports that the senior partner in the coalition government is considering proposals to limit the number of consultations without charge that patients can have with their family doctor to three a year. Senior Conservative Party policy makers have asked their activists to decide whether unlimited appointments are “ luxury the country cannot afford”.
Save Our NHS Hull and E. Yorkshire Chair Lynn Longbottom said; “The mere fact that the governing Party are even considering such a cruel and ill thought out proposal, facilitated by Conservative Party Chair Grant Shapps, beggars belief. The NHS is the jewel in the crown of our Welfare State which used to be the envy of the world”.
Group Secretary Theresa Vaughan believes that the idea is either not thought out properly or may confirm in the minds of many Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt’s 2005 assertion in a book that he co wrote and endorsed that, “The NHS is a sixty year mistake”. She called on Mr. Hunt, “to rule out forever any plans to introduce charges to see medical professionals in the NHS system”.
Mrs. Vaughan added; “What about those citizens with ongoing and complex health issues where the family doctor, the person that knows and cares for them the best may be forced to ration contact? This will cause strains on this vitally important relationship, or maybe this is just what Mr. Hunt wants? A GP who cannot be named told us that she believes that the Government is setting up the NHS to fail and will blame the GP’s for it. We call on Mr. Hunt to respond and on Labour Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham to write to Mr. Hunt seeking clarification in front of the UK Parliament that he is not out to wreck the NHS”.